A DRAMATIC late equaliser saw Ivybridge Town earn a point from a hard-fought South West Peninsula League match when they drew 1-1 at home to high-fliers Brixham at Erme Valley last night.

It was the first draw of the season for both teams, who are level on 31 points, but Brixham are third in the table on goal difference, while Ivybridge are fifth, five points behind second placed Ottery St Mary, but with two games in hand.

A closely contested first half saw Brixham take the lead in the 42nd minute with a shot from Reece Somers which beat the best efforts of goalkeeper Kane Gregory, who got a hand to the ball but could not prevent it from entering the net.

Ivybridge battled to get back into the game and were rewarded with a goal from substitute Connor Rush in the 89th minute.

Rush got the vital touch following some Ivybridge pressure and saw his effort crash against the woodwork before bouncing over the line.

Although Brixham scrambled the ball away, referee Matthew Uren ruled that the ball had crossed the line and awarded the goal.

Ivybridge manager Darren Stewart was not satisfied with the overall performance of his team but admitted that the draw was a fair result, saying: ‘The main thing was that we did not lose the game.

‘Overall, we did not play at all well. From the first whistle everything seemed a bit chaotic. We looked a bit disjointed and a bit rushed. Our ball retention was not very good at all.

‘We got into some good positions in the first half but missed quite a few chances. At half-time we said things needed to be better. We did not improve massively in the second half but upped our work rate and in the end we got a goal.

‘Probably, a draw on the night is a fair result, but I am not really satisfied with the level of performance. Hopefully, we can improve on Friday.’

Ivybridge travel to the Devon FA headquarters at Coach Road, Newton Abbot, for their away match against Bovey Tracey on Friday evening (November 5).

Stewart added: ‘It will be a quick turnaround so we will try and utilise the full squad. Bovey have not had the best of seasons and have just appointed a new manager.

‘We have got to get back to our principles and do what we do well. Hopefully, that will be good enough on Friday.’

Ivybridge will again be without central defender Harrison Harvey-Searle, who missed Tuesday’s game through suspension and will be unavailable on Friday.

In his absence George Birkbeck slotted in effectively alongside skipper Scott Pocock with Stewart admitting: ‘We are really happy with what we have got in terms of the squad. Whatever back four we put out we are happy they will do a job.’

Ivybridge have further boosted their squad with the recent signing of young midfielder Owen Raven from Callington.

Stewart says: ‘He has come to us from youth football and has had experience with a couple of clubs.’